LUDS Presents – ‘Oedipus Rex’

The Tab’s preview of LUDS’ production of Oedipus Rex

Drama drama society LUDS oedipus rex

This week’s offering from the Drama Society is a production of Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex. The Tab spoke to Co-President of LUDS and Director of the play Rio Matchett, to ask about the cast, their production, and the inevitable darkness of a play that’s about a guy who kills his dad and marries his mum.

The Tab: Why did the society choose to do this play?

Rio: In part, the decision to do this play was based upon the great links we have with the Classics Department at the University. They offered us the opportunity to produce this all new translation, and we jumped at the chance. Also, it’s a fantastic play to do just because it offers so many theatrical opportunities alongside such intense, multi-layered roles for actors.

Last semester I directed ‘Fanny and Faggot’, which was a much smaller studio piece. It’s been very exciting for me to be able to work on something so grandiose, with so many brilliant actors. I tell people the play is like a trifle – we’ve taken all the fun things about theatre and put them into one show!

What have been the biggest challenges during rehearsals?

One of the biggest challenges for me as a Director has been working with so many people! Every actor on stage has to have a real sense of purpose, intention, character and physicality, even if they’re only speaking a line or two. Also, getting into the head space of characters in such horrific situations was a challenge, but the actors have worked so hard, it’s been a real pleasure even when we’ve had to explore some dark concepts.


‘Oedipus Rex’ is obviously a pretty dark play, as was ‘Darkness There’, have LUDS got plans for any ‘lighter’ plays?

In a couple of weeks, we’re putting on a production of The God of Carnage, which is pure comedy – it’s about two sets of parents who end up quarrelling like their children. It was made into a film a few years ago with Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet, directed by Roman Polanski. We’ve also tried to incorporate some humour into he tragedy of Oedipus – Charli Wilson as Tiresius is hilarious, and a lot of the physical theatre we’ve used is intended to create visual spectacle which will hopefully stop the play being too heavy.

How suited do you think the cast is for their roles?

I’m incredibly proud of everyone in the cast – it’s taken a lot of hard work for them to get to the place they are now, these roles are incredibly dense, and they have such a history that we all wanted to do them justice. Mark Raynor, who is playing Oedipus, for example – we wanted to get the impetuous, rash nature of the character across, whilst giving him a real integrity and ensuring he was sympathetic to the audience.

Mark has done a fantastic job – every performance requires him to give 110%, and every time I see more of the character. The Chorus as well have done brilliantly in fulfilling the requirements to switch between playing naturalistic characters to inhuman spirits – the play is quite physically taxing for them, and they do a fantastic job.

Sum up the play in 5 words.

Blood soaked, spectacular, all-encompassing theatre!

Oedipus Rex runs from the 6th-8th of March, starting at 7:30PM in the Stanley Theatre. When tickets are only £4 for students, you can’t afford to miss it.